Marco Polo and the Silk Road

This week was all about preparing for our trip across the silk road.  Yes, I know, week three and we haven’t even left Venice yet!  I did say it was taking us a little longer than anticipated!

We are still ploughing our way through ‘Marco Polo’s Travels’.  It is getting easier and easier to read, as I become used to Rusticello’s style.  We have read up to chapter 33.

School has been all about going independent this week.  The children were set an essay on the silk road.  I photocopied an information sheet from this website and another from this one.  The first included a multiple choice quiz.  We do so few of these my guys thought this was the best of fun!!  After they had read all the literature, and including all they knew from their reading, they had to use our informationary and write their essays during their independent study time.  This exercise was to familiarise themselves with the route they would be taking to Cathay (Middle Age China):

L10's essay
L10’s essay

Each child has 30 minutes each day to work on a fun, individual topic related project.  This is also a new endeavour and each project is aimed at benefiting all three older children, not just the one doing it.

T11 made a very large papier-mache map, in the same vein as the one we made of the Viking exploration times.  It spans from Venice to Cathay, covering everything in-between (although probably not proportionately!).  This will give our intrepid explorers a visual tool to be able to see the land over which they will cover over the next few weeks and we shall be adding bits and pieces to it as we go along:

T11's map
T11’s map

C10 read some fables which were often told on the silk road from this website.  Her project was to rewrite the fable into a play which they could put on as a means of entertainment over their journey.  She will effectively be the entertainer for our travels:

C10's rewrite of the play
C10’s rewrite of the play

L10, of course. found herself in the kitchen baking away for the long arduous journey ahead!  We used the recipes from this website and she baked lots of the biscuits and rolls and wrapped them in cloth to keep them fresh for the journey:

Honey and sesame seeds biscuits
Honey and sesame seeds biscuits
These were twisted bread sticks which we covered in cinnamon and sugar.  They were SO good!
These were twisted bread sticks which we covered in cinnamon and sugar. They were SO good!

She and A4 got to work learning to make some hot food to cook on our journey:

Sisters learning together in the kitchen
Sisters learning together in the kitchen
This was a lamb and cabbage dish, which was meant to be covered in pastry and fried as wontons, but we put the filling with some rice and ate it with chop sticks!
This was a lamb and cabbage dish, which was meant to be covered in pastry and fried as wontons, but we put the filling with some rice and ate it with chop sticks!

We knew we would need to make provisions for safe passage to Cathay, and as the Mongols (and therefore Kublai Khan) ruled over most of the land we would cover, we made ourselves one of his seals each out of card and foil, scraped letters and gold paint (which we had to use sparingly as there wasn’t enough!):

The girls painting their seals
The girls painting their seals
And the final seals containing the words Kublai Khan included on all his seals
And the final seals containing the words Kublai Khan included on all his seals (front) and Chinese characters (back-not very clear in the photo)

We are now ready for the first leg of our journey.  We all hope you’ll come along for the ride!!

For more inspiration:

Here for a journey on the Silk Road

Here for a Silk Road and Ancient Trade YouTube video

Here for Marco Polo activity sheets

Explorers Unit

Marco Polo’s journey on the Silk Road

TGIF Linky Party hosted by 123Homeschool4Me        Highhill Homeschool

22 comments

  1. I love how each of your older children chose an individual project appealing to their personal passions. L(10)’s writing is so neat!
    We’ve had the Marco Polo books out of the library for ages & we’re still on Australia! The good news is you & Hwee will have given us lots of ideas by the time we get there. 🙂

    1. The individual projects are such a great way to cover lots of work in a short time, and yet we all learn from each other and benefit (especially when it comes to L10’s cooking!)

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